Corneal Transplantation

In the United States, approximately 100,000 people are blind or have significantly decreased vision as a result of corneal disease, yet just over 40,000 corneal transplants are performed each year. The waiting lists are often long for those awaiting the precious gift of sight.

The techniques used in corneal surgery have improved significantly over the last few years and the prognosis for a good surgical result in corneal transplantation is excellent in most cases.

Closeup of a brown eye

Who Needs A Corneal Transplant?

Any condition that causes clouding or distortion of the cornea may result in poor vision and therefore, may require a transplant. There are several factors to consider in deciding who could benefit from this operation and at what time. Your corneal surgeon must consider the general health of the eye, the pressure inside the eye, the vision in each eye, and the specific condition that caused the decreased vision in the involved eye. Also, any past eye surgery must be taken into account.

Are All Corneal Transplants Successful?

No. We would be remiss and dishonest if we didn’t tell you that, as with other surgical procedures, failures do occur. Our overall success rate is quite high, but nothing is 100%.

The body can reject the transplanted tissue. In that event, your surgeon would treat the rejection by increasing your eye drop medication and possibly giving you additional medication by mouth. If the treatment of the rejection is unsuccessful, then the transplant could be repeated.

Corneal transplantation has one of the highest chances of success of any transplant you could have. The odds are considerably in favor of the patient.


With modern techniques, corneal transplant surgery can, in most instances, restore useful vision to eyes affected by corneal disease. While a guarantee of good vision cannot be made, the success rate is very high.

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